The StarBucks coffee brand is enormous and I’m sure that you’ve been in a StarBucks Coffee Shop or at least seen one but have you ever looked at the StarBucks Logo Design & Branding and wondered, “What the hell is it?”
Starbucks is one of those giant corporations that actually has a great story behind its branding and normally you’d find a plethora of startup coffee shops who’ll take inspiration from it to create their own brand but because the StarBucks Logo design and branding is so original, I think that other Coffee Shops stay well away from trying to imitate it. The reason being is that they don’t understand the story behind it and therefore can’t apply such originality to their branding.
Read on and find out how Starbucks started up and what the Logo Design & Branding means.
The Story of the StarBucks Logo Design & Branding
In 1971, instant coffee was introduced to the US, leading three teachers in Seattle to open a shop selling coffee beans and equipment. They named the shop after a character in the “Moby Dick” novel and utilised a sea theme to brand their business. However, instead of a using a whale for their logo they took a sexier approach with a mythical siren to glamorise coffee.
As the business grew, the owners hired marketing director Howard Schultz. He found that selling drinks as well as beans would diversify the business and increase profitability. The three owners disagreed with him, leaving Schultz to part with Starbucks and open his own coffee shops.
Years later, the three owners sold the chain of shops to Schultz who quickly rebranded his own coffee shops and re-strategised Starbucks so they all sold coffee drinks. In that same year he opened a further 3 Starbucks and during the 1990s, Starbucks was opening a new store every workday. 40 years later the brand has become a retail giant, selling coffee across 55+ countries worldwide.
Today, many love the Starbucks brand but many also hate it’s global expansion.
The StarBucks Logo Design
The brand, offerings and image have actually changed minimally during its years of success, so what brought on the 2011 rebrand to remove the Starbucks name and coffee text from the logo. Schultz himself said, “Even though we have been and always will be a coffee company and retailer, it’s possible that we’ll have other products with our name on it but no coffee in it.”
The ideology is a simple one which makes perfect sense. Starbucks already sell other products such as tobacco, cd’s, and ice cream.
Removing the “coffee” leaves room for further expansion. Being one of the largest brands in the world the corporate identity is common knowledge and the need for the name itself does not exist.
What about the design though? In the beginning they had the brown logo with the fully naked siren, company name and products listed. This was updated to a more respectable covered up siren with a colour change. Since then the design was streamlined significantly to produce a well illustrated logo that served the times.
The new logo is again an attempt at streamlining the identity and showing its corporate power. It fits the bill and looks good however it lost some of its character in doing so. Design wise, the old logo was iconic and stylish. The new design is modern and simpler but fits the purpose of Starbucks change perfectly.
Although many despise the new logo, I see it as a good rebrand to represent the future of Starbucks.